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Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Thursday, December 21, 1882



A Sudden Adjournment of the Supreme Court - Indefinite Postponement of the Races - Homeless People Camping in the Open Air - The Locality of the Fire.

Kingston, N.Y., December 21.

The Jamaica Creole of December 13 has the following details of the late great fire at Kingston:

A great calamity has befallen this city. The Feurtado's fire that began in Port Royal Street at 2 o'clock on Monday afternoon last (11th. Inst.) and spread itself furiously in every direction, burning places of worship, stores, public buildings, wharves, banks, private residences, groceries, shops and printing offices, not even sparing human life, will be remembered in Jamaica, for it has gutted the business part of the city, and disfigured the residences of rich and poor alike to such an extent that it will take years of hard toil to remedy or repair the evil. Indeed, it is the opinion that Kingston will never recover herself, such is the devastation, such the ruin, such the losses. We know that had there been means near at hand when the conflagration began to put out the fire it could not have spread further than a few yards, for, for some time after the alarm was given but a few bundles of shingles were in flames. Had Mr. Feurtado the smallest appliances on his premises for arresting the flames there would have been subdued at once, and the distress which has fallen on us averted. The brigade arrived on the scene ten minutes after the report was given; but there was some difficulty in attaching the hose to the hydrant; mean while the flames ascended and caught at tall building to the north - the savings bank. The water was not pretty well brought into play; but the sparks from this high house blew wildly about, and in a few minutes time eight distinct houses in various parts of the town were ablaze and sending sparks to other houses, by which means the destroying element soon surrounded several districts, literally defying the efforts of the fire brigade to get in under.

The authorities of the Savings Bank hurriedly placed their valuables in a great fireproof safe, recently built, and cleared out. The audit office adopted a different mode. The books and papers were pitched into Duke Street, and some of them placed in the fireproof store opposite.


In half an hour there were several centers of attraction, for a fire was in everyone's neighborhood, so that every man had to stand by his own house or store or office to protect it. No fire brigade, unless it were ubiquitous, could cope with what was, in an hour's time, the greatest conflagration ever witnessed in this city, not excluding, we are told, the great fire of 1862 nor the greater one of 1843; but the brigade did its best, and when it could not work effectually in one direction, it tried in another. For example, Mr. Parry, the superintendent, with a desire to save the Metropolitan House, occupied by Messrs. Nathan & Co., pulled down Mr. McKenzie's warehousing establishment and residence.

Mr. Parry, accompanied by General Mann, interviewed Mr. McKenzie in the street, "Mr. McKenzie," said Mr. Parry, "will you give us authority to pull down your place?" Mr. McKenzie: "I haven't got my people out yet; I am quite full." Mr. Parry; "Well, my dear sir, I shall give you half an hour, and if you don't get out we shall pull it down on you." This looked like a brutum fulman to some bystanders, but Mr. McKenzie appeared to take it in earnest, and in five minutes the hatchet was applied, and Metropolitan House was saved. Most of the properties destroyed were partly insured; for instance, Charles Levy & Co., who are said to have had a stock of £30,000, were insured for about £15,000. Business is suspended; there is very little to sell and less money to buy with. When the alarm was given the Supreme Court was trying Messrs. Finzie's rum case, and the Court rose immediately.

The races that were to have been run yesterday, tomorrow and next day were knocked in the head without ceremony, and yesterday the stores that are standing remained closed as if in mourning. The breadstuffs are nearly all burned up; not fewer than 17,000 bags of rice were turned to ashes at Charles Levy & Company's wharf. The people are mad with their losses; a great many removed their best goods to places that were not so safe as their own; Mr. MacPherson of the Bee Hive store lost hundreds of pounds in silks in this way to the street car company's office. The people are homeless; hundreds of them have taken up lodgings in the open air at the Central Park and race course where the Governor is endeavoring to get the tents belonging to the military erected for their covering.


Five lives are reported lost; four dead bodies are said to have been picked up yesterday in Orange Street, and a corpse of a five year old boy in one of the lanes. We beg to draw special attention to the appeal of Mr. Michael Solomon, which we publish today, as well as to the notice by the Government in another column.

Our contemporary of the Gleaner has requested us to say that preparations are being made for issuing the Gleaner again in a few days. We believe that the same may be said of the Standard and the Budget, as the Government printing office is prepared, we understand to do their printing on a small scale for the time being.

Telegrams will be sent by the Government from the railway terminus. These telegrams will be received at the General Post Office in Duke Street.

The West India and Panama Telegraph Company will, for the time being, keep their offices at Dr. Anderson's surgery, opposite the Municipal Board office in Duke Street, at the corner of Water lane.

Below we give an account of the places destroyed. We shall be happy to receive intelligence from any one as to the real amount of loss he has sustained. Our opinion is that in the aggregate £2,000,000 sterling in property have gone.


For: (Port) Royal Street: Mr. Feurtado's lumber yard and house attached; office of the Diocesan Financial Board; the read of G.J. de Cordova's, coach building establishment, the postal telegraph office, Mr. Alberga's house and cabinet establishment, the Government Savings Bank, the West India and Panama telegraph office, Gall's stationery establishment and the Jamaica Mutual office, the London hotel, Machado's cigar factory, Lawyer Nathan's office, J. E. West's office, Lawyer Lewis' office, Morris' fruit store, Advocate Lerido's office, Lawyer A. E. Burke's office, Charles Levy's provision store premises, the Administrator General's office, David Colthirst & Co.'s offices and wharf premises, W. D. Jones' coffee store, Turnbull, Lee & Mudon's cabinet establishment, McCrae's dining rooms, the Jamaica Association office, J. E. Howell's American sample rooms, Depass' Criterion dining rooms, Alfred DeCordova's provision store, the Colonial Bank premises, Arnold Malabre & Co.'s Wharf, Arthur Abram's provision store, Henry Delgado's provision store, four unoccupied stores, Fegan & Co.'s store and wharf, Schieffer's counting house and store, Excelsior Soap Factory, Finke's store and wharf, Ruge's counting house, David Martin's vendue mart, The Ordnance Stores, Osmond Delgado's store and some unoccupied stores.

Little Port Royal Street: George Solomon's counting house, a range of buildings used as store rooms by Emanuel Lyons & Sons, the Commercial Exchange, W. A. Paine's soda water factory and building, the Victoria Market shop.

Mark Lane: About thirty houses belonging to the poorer classes, Mr. DeVillacey's residence, in which £200 in Colonial Bank notes were burned.

Orange Street: The English and German Synagogue; about forty houses, belonging to both rich and poor; office of the German Consul.

Mathew's Lane: About seventy houses, the property of the poorer classes.

Harbour Street: H. W. Cody's grocery; Carlton House (fancy store); Grant's drug store; Dan Dacostas' wholesale dry goods; John Milholland's watch making establishment; the Jamaica Tobacco Plantations Company; E. A. McKenzie's watch making establishment, cigar store kept by Mr. Baruck; Mrs. Aaron's fancy store; Ford Brothers' Ironmongery; George Henderson stationery and printing establishment; Stelfox's earthenware store; D'azevado's dry goods store; the People's House, a dry goods store; Sam DaCosta's grocery and four lock up stores attached; Philip Levy's provision store; the Budget printing office; Mr. Lopez's tailoring establishment; the Gleaner printing and bookbinding establishment; Mordecai's fancy store; Driscol Bros.' Ironmongery; Simon Lewis' fruit establishment; Lewis' es??? Factory; Clough's produce store; Jonas Hart's counting house and about twenty dwelling houses.

King Street: McDowell & Hankey's counting house and wharf; Sam Mendes' provision establishment and fruit stores; Isaac Levy's counting house; Richard White's provision store; the street car company's office; the Modal Grocery; York House - a fancy store; DuQuesnay's - a fancy store; the Commercial Hotel; Charles & Crang's ale and porter brewery; Wheech's (?) two crockery warehouses, a cigar establishment; a small fancy store; J. Morrison's jewelry establishment; Milligen's provision establishment; Morris's watchmaking establishment; a barber shop; Bravo's steam chocolate factory; Croswell's drug store; a provision establishment; Burton's watchmaking establishment; the Reform Refreshment saloon; McCartney & Wood's stationery store; the Colonial Standard office; Justice McCarthy's printing office and stationery; a Cuban cigar shop.

Church Street: Davidson, Colthirst & Co.'s wharf premises; Provedo's hair cutting saloon; the People's Discount office; Cassis' shoe making establishment; DeSouza's printing establishment; the gas and water works offices; the Women's Self Help Society's office; Thompson's photographic gallery; Turnbull's crockery establishment; Adams building establishment; C. N. Davis' stationery; Lawyer Andrew's office; Kelly's tailoring establishment, and about 20 dwelling houses.

Princess Street: Astwood's wharf premises, the Ordinance stores, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue and about forty dwelling houses.

West Street: About sixty dwelling houses belonging to the poor.

Peters Lane: About sixty houses inhabited by the poor.

Temple Lane: About thirty dwellings inhabited by the poor.

Luke Lane: About thirty habitations of the poor.

Water Lane: Shirley's cigar store, Gadpaille's store, Mark Hendrick's cabinet factory, Harry's shoemaking establishment, Nethersole's ironmongery, and several shops.

At a meeting at the Town Hall yesterday, the Governor gave the money set down for the Queen's Purse, and £50 besides, for the sufferers by the fire; Messrs. Verley & Robinson £100, and Mr. Steibel £59.

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